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  1. Member
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    #1

    I have a friend driving a taxi vs My friend drives a taxi

    Hello! This thread relates to "back here I can't even hold a job PARKING CARS!" by kadioguy (https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/t...-PARKING-CARS!). I left a comment there which was deleted by Rover KE with the following remarks, "incorrect, confusing, and does not state 'Not a teacher.'" As for the last one, my profile clearly says that I'm a student or learner, which makes it obvious that I'm not a teacher. Since I don't know what exactly was incorrect in my comment, I'll try to restore it from my memory and post here again so that teachers can check it up.


    I have a guess why this construction confuses kadioguy. Compare the following sentences,

    (1) I have a friend driving a taxi -> My friend drives a taxi.
    (2) I have a job driving a taxi -> My job drives a taxi. (wrong) I drive a taxi. (OK)

    To some learners, (2) might sound as if it is "a job" that drives a taxi.


    At this point, I think (1) sounds unnatural, though grammatically correct, and doesn't mean "My friend drives a taxi" (= a taxi driver). But I'm not sure.

    Would it be more appropriate if I wrote, "I have a friend writing books" -> "My friend is a writer"?
    Last edited by Alexey86; 11-Feb-2020 at 11:30.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I have a friend driving a taxi vs My friend drives a taxi

    For the first one, try:

    I have a friend who drives a taxi.*

    As for the second one, "I have a job driving a taxi" is perfectly good. (The person's job is driving a taxi.)

    -------------------------------------------------------------- -------- ----
    *That form can be used for anything.
    Not a professional teacher

  3. Member
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    #3

    Re: I have a friend driving a taxi vs My friend drives a taxi

    I have a friend who drives a taxi.*
    The question is, can "I have a friend driving a taxi" provide the same meaning? I think it can't. But what if I change it to "I have a friend writing books? To me, it works.

    "I have a job driving a taxi" is perfectly good. (The person's job is driving a taxi.)
    That's the point of my comparison! "My job is driving a taxi" might sound to some learners as if the speaker's job behaves like a man driving a taxi. Compare "My job is driving a taxi" with "My friend is driving a taxi." These look deceptively similar but provide different meanings, and answer to different questions: "What is my job?" and "What is my friend doing?"
    Last edited by Alexey86; 11-Feb-2020 at 12:10.

  4. teechar's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I have a friend driving a taxi vs My friend drives a taxi

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    I left a comment there which was deleted by Rover KE with the following remarks, "incorrect, confusing, and does not state 'Not a teacher.'" As for the last one, my profile clearly says that I'm a student or learner, which makes it obvious that I'm not a teacher.
    Alexy86, I am also going to ask you to add "Not a Teacher" to your signature if you are going to provide replies to other member's questions. It is part of our rules, and we expect all members to abide by them. If you wish to participate in a discussion by asking related supplementary questions in a thread, then you don't need to add anything to your posts/signature.

  5. Member
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    #5

    Re: I have a friend driving a taxi vs My friend drives a taxi

    I am also going to ask you to add "Not a Teacher"
    I've added it, although I honestly don't see much point in it.
    Not a teacher

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    #6

    Re: I have a friend driving a taxi vs My friend drives a taxi

    There's a clue in the name of the forum — Ask a Teacher — and the Posting Guidelines are quite clear:

    You are welcome to answer questions posted in the Ask a Teacher forum as long as your suggestions, help, and advice reflect a good understanding of the English language. If you are not a teacher, you will need to state that clearly in your post. Please note, all posts are moderated by our in-house language experts, so make sure your suggestions, help, and advice provide the kind of information an international language teacher would offer. If not, and your posts do not contribute to the topic in a positive way, they will be subject to deletion.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 11-Feb-2020 at 14:09.

  7. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: I have a friend driving a taxi vs My friend drives a taxi

    When I say "His job is driving a taxi" it's about what he does, not what his job does. Similar is "His job is selling cars." (He's a car salesman.)

    Any confusion should be temporary.
    Not a professional teacher

  8. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: I have a friend driving a taxi vs My friend drives a taxi

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    I have a guess why this construction confuses kadioguy. Compare the following sentences,

    (1) I have a friend driving a taxi -> My friend drives a taxi.
    (2) I have a job driving a taxi -> My job drives a taxi. (wrong) I drive a taxi. (OK)

    To some learners, (2) might sound as if it is "a job" that drives a taxi.
    Yes, that's certainly possible. It is rather confusing.


    I think (1) sounds unnatural, though grammatically correct, and doesn't mean "My friend drives a taxi" (= a taxi driver). But I'm not sure.

    Would it be more appropriate if I wrote, "I have a friend writing books" -> "My friend is a writer"?
    No, that doesn't work. You can't say I have a friend writing books to mean I have a friend who writes books or My friend is a writer.

    With a lot of context, it could make sense to say I have a friend writing books to mean something like I have a friend who is writing books as we speak. That's very hard to imagine, though.

  9. Member
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    #9

    Re: I have a friend driving a taxi vs My friend drives a taxi

    Rover KE said,
    so make sure your suggestions, help, and advice provide the kind of information an international language teacher would offer. If not, and your posts do not contribute to the topic in a positive way, they will be subject to deletion.
    I do not question your rights as a moderator in any way. I just think it's quite unfair that everyone can see your remarks, being unable to see the comment itself to make up their own opinion. Until comment #15, nobody could clearly formulate the problem, so I decided to share my guess from the learner's point of view. I believe that, despite some mistakes, it wasn't completely useless and could have been helpful to someone.
    Not a teacher

  10. teechar's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: I have a friend driving a taxi vs My friend drives a taxi

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    At this point, I think (1) sounds unnatural, though grammatically correct, and doesn't mean "My friend drives a taxi" (= a taxi driver). But I'm not sure.
    I agree with you. See below.
    The key to figuring out that sentence is the meaning of the verb "have", which is acting as a causative verb. Consider:

    I have a team attending to the power outage at the tower.
    They had me painting for the best part of a week.

    Thus, "have" here means to make/cause/arrange for someone to do (or be doing) something.

    The sentence in question is possible, given the right context. For example:

    A: How have you helped your friends settle in this town as new immigrants?
    B: I have a friend driving a taxi; I have another working for the local council, and I've enrolled two more at an English language school.

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